Illinois Senator praises Cork festival

The Cork Mother Jones Festival Committee has received a warm message of support and encouragement from Illinois Senator Andy Manar.

Senator Andy Manar

Sen. Andy Manar

Senator Manar in a thoughful and positive  message to the Cork Mother Jones Committee for the Spirit of Mother Jones festival states that “you have all my deepest respect for the work you have done on behalf of Mother Jones and I share in your admiration of this great woman from County Cork, Ireland”

“I believe your festival is wonderful as it attracts people from all over the world and stands tallest among other known Mother Jones Festivals. I’d welcome a similar event in my district. Your festival sets a very high bar for other to reach and you should be extremely proud of that”
Letter received from US Senator Andy Manar (D), Illinois

Letter received from US Senator Andy Manar (D), Illinois

The Cork Mother Jones Committee acknowledges and supports the huge effort being made by the Unions, the Illinois Labour History Society and the Mother Jones Foundation to preserve and restore the monument over the grave of Mother Jones in Mount Olive cemetery. The restoration project will ensure that this monument over her final resting place will remain for ever as a fitting symbol of positive action for social justice which the spirit of Mother Jones inspires in thousands of people across the world.

WAPC group who spoke at festival visit SIPTU

Shortly after they appeared at this year’s Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork, representatives of Yorkshire mining communities including Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures paid a courtesy visit to Liberty Hall, Dublin, national headquarters of the country’s largest trade union, SIPTU.  There they were received by SIPTU’s General President Jack O’Connor.   SIPTU were also generous part sponsors of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.

Betty and Anne with Jack O'Connor

Anne Scargill (right) and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures being presented with a copy of Padraig Yeates’ book on the 1913 Dublin Lockout by SIPTU President Jack O’Connor. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

 

 

Greetings from the Mayor of Boston

The Cork Mother Jones Committee received an enormous number of messages of support for the recent Spirit of Mother Jones Festival from around the world. Among those received was the following message of support from Martin J Walsh, Mayor of Boston. We are delighted to have received this message of support for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and wish to thank  Mayor Walsh for his kind message.    

Letter from the Mayor of Boston

Letter from the Mayor of Boston

Dear Delegates to the Mother Jones Festival,

On behalf of the people of Boston, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you as you stand together for the dignity of working families in Ireland, America, and around the world.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston.  Pic: David Parsons, Creative Commons via Wikipedia

Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston. Pic: David Parsons, Creative Commons via Wikipedia

Ireland holds a special place in my heart. Like the young Mary Harris, my parents were emigrants.  I was shaped by the voices and values of Irish working people.  And I share that Irish foundation with many of my fellow Bostonians.  President John F. Kennedy spoke of an “emerald thread” running through the history of the Irish: a resilience in the face of struggle that survives in their descendants around the world. This pattern is woven deeply into the rich and diverse tapestry of Boston’s people.

And the struggles of all working families are never far from my mind. I grew up in a union household;  I’ve belonged to the Laborers union since I was 18 years old; and I’ve spent my career in public service advocating advocating for workers’ rights.  I know that the simple notion of a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work is far from a simple thing to achieve.  Securing justice takes a hard, complex, and constant struggle.  It takes collective action that can only be accomplished by the kind of community building you are doing this weekend in Cork.

I know, as you do, that this struggle takes place the world over. Like Mother Jones, we must “abide wherever there is a fight against wrong”.  So I thank you for honoring her powerful legacy. And I thank you for shining a modern light on the timeless struggles of working people to defend their dignity and secure their rights.

Sincerely,

Martin J. Walsh

Mayor of Boston

 

 

Thank You message from the Cork Mother Jones Commmittee

Thank You!

The Cork Mother Jones Committee wishes to thank the many hundreds of people who worked on a voluntary basis in Shandon during the recent 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival to ensure another remarkable success story for this relatively new event. It has been a stimulating week!

It has been another wonderful event, drawing participants from far and wide, local visitors, trade unionists, historians and tourists from many countries to join in the activities of the summer school and festival which celebrated the life, the courage and the spirit of Mary Harris/Mother Jones.
We wish to thank our speakers, film makers, musicians, actors, media representatives and the huge community effort that went into what eventually became a week long event. We acknowledge the support and cooperation of all the people who work at our two venues, the Firkin Crane and the Maldron Hotel.
The responses from many of the several thousand people who attended at some stage during the week has been extremely positive and supportive for both the festival itself and acknowledge the huge and impressive input of the local community in Shandon.
The festival itself is tribute to the hard work and dedication of the members of the Cork Mother Jones Committee,the amazing local community spirit and huge growing international support which exists for the event. To our friends and supporters and those who honour the Spirit of Mother Jones across the world and are in turn inspired by her, we say thank you!

Spirit of Mother Jones festival 2014 in pictures

A selection of photos taken at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival, Cork

2014.

Ann Rea, Cork Mother Jones Committee and Firkin Crane with colleague from Firkin Crane.  Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Ann Rea, Cork Mother Jones Committee and Firkin Crane with colleague from Firkin Crane. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Evening music session at the Maldron.  Pic: Jimmy Thomson.

Evening music session at the Maldron. Pic: Jimmy Thomson.

Music at the Maldron.  Photo: Jimmy Thomson

Music at the Maldron with Ray Barron and Two Time Polka. Photo: Jimmy Thomson

Members of the Lions Youth Band, Cheshire

Members of the Lions Youth Band, Cheshire

James Nolan

James Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee, photo taken during visit to the Lord Mayor of Cork, Mary Shields at Cork City Hall. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

 

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures at the Firkin Crane with Yorkshire Mother Jones banner.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures at the Firkin Crane with Yorkshire Mother Jones banner. Photo: Jimmy Thomson

Dave Hopper, Durham Miners Association with Michael Lally, Cork Mother Jones committee with presentation of framed scroll from the miners - at the Mother Jones Plaque, Cork.

Dave Hopper, Durham Miners Association with Michael Lally, Cork Mother Jones committee with presentation of framed scroll from the miners – at the Mother Jones Plaque, Pic: Jimmy Thomson.

Niamh

Niamh who operated video camera, sound and stills throughout the festival. Photo: Richard T. Cooke

Ger McCarthy

Committee member Ger McCarthy distributing shots of whiskey for a toast to Mother Jones at the Garden Party in the Butter Market.

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Local residents. Photo: Richard T. Cooke

John O'Keeffe group

John Nyhan who assisted with the music events with friends at the Mother Jones Garden Party.

Jimmy Crowley group

Jimmy Crowley with Committee members Richard T. Cooke (left) and William Hammond and friend at the Maldron.

James Goltz from the USA enjoying the songs of Jimmy Crowley at the Maldron.  Pic: Richard T. Cooke

James Goltz from the USA enjoying the songs of Jimmy Crowley at the Maldron. Pic: Richard T. Cooke

Committee member and website organiser John Jefferies enjoys a quick meal during a break in proceedings.

Committee member and website organiser John Jefferies enjoys a quick meal during a break in proceedings.   Photo: Richard T. Cooke

Ailbhe Mahony, member of the Cork Mother Jones Committee distributing shots of Irish whiskey for the toast to Mother Jones on Mother Jones Day.

Ailbhe Mahony, member of the Cork Mother Jones Committee distributing shots of Irish whiskey for the toast to Mother Jones on Mother Jones Day. Pic: Richard T. Cooke

Jimmy Crowley

Cork troubadour / song historian Jimmy Crowley, a true Cork legend, entertaining people at the Maldron Hotel. Photo: Richard T. Cooke

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Geraldine McCarthy (centre) and Michael Lally of the Cork Mother Jones Committee receiving pennant and presentation from the Lions youth Band, Cheshire at the Mother Jones Garden Party, Cork. Photo: John Jefferies

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Ladies in appropriate period dress with members of Cork Shawlies at the Mother Jones Garden party at Cork Butter Market. Photo: John Jefferies.

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Lions Youth Band, Cheshire perform at the Mother Jones Garden Party, at Cork Butter Market, Shandon.  Photo:  John Jefferies

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Some of those enjoying the Cork Mother Jones Garden Party. Despite rain showers the event was well attended and enjoyed by all. Photo: John Jefferies

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Members of Lions Youth Band making presentation to Cork Mother Jones Committee with Ailbhe Mahony, Geraldine McCarthy and Michael Lally of the committee. Photo: John Jefferies.

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Mother Jones 2014 Days 2 to 4 038

Anne Scargill from Women Against Pit Closures, Yorkshire with Trevor Quinn, SIPTU and Cork Mother Jones Committee. Photo (c) John Jefferies

Tadhg O'Sullivan, Allihies Copper mining museum who spoke on the mining links with Butte, Montana.

Paul Winter, Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign who spoke following the showing of the Yvette Vansons film “The Battle for Orgreave”.

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Betty Cook (left) with Anne Scargill, both of the Women Against Pit Closures group Yorkshire, UK. Photo: John Jefferies

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William Hammond of the Cork Mother Jones Committee introducing a musical act at the Firkin Crane centre. Photo: John Jefferies.

 

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Dave Hopper (2nd from right) of the Durham Miner’s Gala with fellow members, along with friends from Co. Meath.

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Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures (both in green) with their Mother Jones banner join with US women miners from West Virginia and the Mother Jones banner at the Firkin Crane. Photo (c) John Jefferies

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Lord Mayor Mary Shields with three members of the Spirit of Mother Jones committee – James Nolan, Cllr. Ted Tynan and Michael Lally at the Lord Mayor’s chambers, City Hall.

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Tadhg O’Sullivan of Allihies Copper Mining Museum who spoke of links between those mines and the mining area of Butte, Montana.

 

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Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Mary Shields with James Goltz from Mount Olive, Illinois (burial place of Mother Jones). Photo (c) John Jefferies

Mother Jones 2014 Day 1 010

Women from Yorkshire at Cork City Hall. L-R: Lynn, Betty Cook, Anne Scargill and Sue.

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Filmmakers Lamprini C. Thoma (centre) and Nicos Ventouras from Greece meet Lord Mayor Mary Shields at City Hall.

Mother Jones 2014 Day 1 014

Claire McGettrick speaking at the Firkin Crane yesterday

Claire McGettrick speaking at the Firkin Crane yesterday

Luke Dineen

Luke Dineen

Gareth Peirce arriing at the Firkin Crane theatre, Cork yesterday

Gareth Peirce arriing at the Firkin Crane theatre, Cork yesterday

 

James P. McCarthy (left) with his wife Anne and Richard T. Cooke at the Maldron Hotel yesterday

James P. McCarthy (left) with his wife Anne and Richard T. Cooke at the Maldron Hotel yesterday

Mother Jones 2014 Day 1 008 Mother Jones 2014 Day 1 011 Mother Jones 2014 Day 1 007

Today is Mother Jones Day

Today, Friday 1st August officially Mother Jones Day in Cork and is also the final day of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival. After an inspiring day of film, music and debate Day 3 ended last night with a full house at the Firkin Crane for Si Kahn and Anne Feeney in concert which received rapturous applause and plenty of audience participation. The night ended with a fabulous music session at the Maldron Hotel.

Todays programme includes film on Cork socialist Tadhg Barry, discussion in Mother Jones’ links with James Connolly and Jim Larkin, a discussion with singer songwriter Si Kahn on his union and environmental activism , the Mother Jones Garden Party, plaque event. The highlight of the evening will be the premiere of Mother Jones and her Children, a film by Cork’s Framework Film. The number day and the festival wind down at the Maldron Hotel from 9.30pm with a bluegrass music session with Two Time Polka.

Day 2 in pictures

Sunny weather greeted those arriving for Day 2 of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork’s Shandon area yesterday morning.  After breakfast and some tea or coffee on the plaza everyone proceeded to the Firkin Crane Centre for the opening session.   A fascinating talk was given by local Cork historian Luke Dineen on the Cork Harbour Soviet of 1921.

 

Luke Dineen

Luke Dineen

This was followed on by a thought-provoking lecture by David Joyce, Development Officer of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on the situation in Qatar where thousands of migrant workers are engaged in building stadiums for the 2022 football World Cup in appalling conditions, with over 1,000 deaths of construction workers.  ICTU and international labour organisations are currently campaigning for a rerun of the FIFA vote which awarded the 2022 competition to Qatar.  For more information visit rerunthevote.org

 

David Joyce

David Joyce

Slide showing the stark situation of migrant workers in Qatar building stadiums for World Cup 2022.

Slide showing the stark situation of migrant workers in Qatar building stadiums for World Cup 2022.

 

At lunchtime we had music at the Maldron Hotel with an excellent performance from James P. McCarthy and friends.

James P. McCarthy (left) with his wife Anne and Richard T. Cooke at the Maldron Hotel yesterday

James P. McCarthy (left) with his wife Anne and Richard T. Cooke at the Maldron Hotel yesterday

The afternoon session began, back at the Firkin Crane, with a powerful lecture by Claire McGettrick on the story of the women who were detained in and worked in the Magdalene institutions.  This was followed by a frank discussion on the topic and the ongoing fight for justice of the survivors and their families.

Claire McGettrick speaking at the Firkin Crane yesterday

Claire McGettrick speaking at the Firkin Crane yesterday

The highlight of the event was the thoughtful lecture delivered by solicitor Gareth Peirce on the way in which laws designed to protect citizens and uphold their civil and human rights have often been ignored or nullified by governments and state agencies for political considerations.   The large audience was attentive and engaged with her comments and Ms. Peirce answered a number of questions at the end.   As the session closed, Ger O’Mahony of the Spirit of Mother Jones Committee announced that the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Award had been awarded to Gareth Peirce and he presented her with a sculpture depicting the Children of Lír.   Members of the Cork Mother Jones Committee joined Gareth Peirce on stage for photos while the audience gave her a standing ovation.

 

Gareth Peirce arriing at the Firkin Crane theatre, Cork yesterday

Gareth Peirce arriing at the Firkin Crane theatre, Cork yesterday

To end the evening the Mother Jones Gala Concert was held in the Firkin Crane with a host of musicians and performers including Richard T. Cooke and friends, the Cork Rokk Choir, Cork Shakespearean Company, Aoife Delaney, Kieran McCarthy and William Hammond.   This was followed by the Mother Jones Céilí Band at the Maldron Hotel, led by William Hammond who encouraged audience members onto the dance floor for a variety of dance styles including Irish dancing, old time waltz and even line dancing.

Anne Scargill of Women Against Pit Closures (left) with Ailbhe Mahony of the Cork Mother Jones festival and Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures.

Anne Scargill of Women Against Pit Closures (left) with Ailbhe Mahony of the Cork Mother Jones festival and Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures.

Above are a sample of the many hundreds of photos taken so far at the festival.  We will be adding more in the coming days, especially when the festival is over and we will have time to sort out the photos.